Questions about someone that committed suicide


#1

Greetings and peace unto you all,

About 10 years ago now, one of my, if not my closes friend committed suicide. Now that I’m coming home into the True Church of Christ, I wanted to know about my friends soul.

Am I automatically to assume he’s in hell?

Does the RCC still teach that whoever comit’s suicide goes straight to hell?

Even though I’m not sure what the teaching is, I’ve been keeping my deceased friend in my prayers, hopeing that he still has a chance to reach heaven.

God Bless You All,

Nelson


#2

I’m inclined to say yes

However, we would need to know full details of his state of mind/sanity etc… to even begin to guess.

But it doesnt change the fact that suicide is a very very grave sin.

Do you have any other details?

In Christ.

Andre.


#3

I don’t understand how mental illness can send someone to hell? What I mean is that depression is a disease. If someone is depressed and commits suicide is it *really a sin? Wouldn’t that be like saying that someone who fell into a diabetic coma and died was a sinner as well?

Since I’ve struggled with depression most of my life, this has always bothered me.


#4

I believe, we must believe - in the Mercy of God - our Father. Only he can judge your friend, God Rest His Soul. We are told that suicide is a mortal sin, but … trust in the Mercy of God.


#5

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Suicide

2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. 2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.


#6

Only God knows the state of mind. If the person in question was a beliver, God may forgive him and too heaven he may go. That is my take. :confused: :thumbsup:


#7

[quote=lencloud]Only God knows the state of mind. If the person in question was a beliver, God may forgive him and too heaven he may go. That is my take. :confused: :thumbsup:
[/quote]

As I remember a priest telling me one time, If a person commits suicide, they are most likely not in a proper state of mind, and therefore the responsibility is diminished from that person.


#8

Read the story or watch the video on this link I submitted recently. Religion and Suicide


#9

Thanks JkirkLVNV and everyone else for their input. It makes me feel good that my hopes for my friend may be realized. I’ll continue to keep him in my prayers.

I know my friend believed in God, but after that he pretty much didn’t have a formal structure of religious beliefs. He didn’t attend any particular faith, and I don’t know if he was born Catholic.

But ultimately, my friend was a person who cared for others he didn’t like people being taken advantage of. He was a people person, very intelligent, possessed many gifts. He wrote short stories, wrote songs, sang lead vocals in a band he started, was a have way decent artist. He had a great appreciation of music, movies, and books. Really, he was gifted. Wasn’t a sports nut, but was one of those naturally strong lugz. :slight_smile: He definately wasn’t graceful in any of the sports we’d play as kids, but in his uncanny way he got the job done.

But I know he was overcome by his demons. I realize know that as a kid he must have suffered terrible things in the form of abuse both sexual and physical.

About a year or so before he committed suicide, he had revealed to me and a few other close friends that he was bi-sexual. Or as we in the faith would rather say, he was leading a bi-sexual life. At the time I was just starting to find religion.

I had begun studying and learning a religion which looking back now had facets of protestant, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, and Jewish doctrines. I gladly admit today to people I was still able to salvage a relationship with, that I felt like I came out from under a spell. I thank God for bringing to the fullness of the truth.

Anyway, being that my friends revelation happened at the same time as my quasi spiritual awakening, I wasn’t the best friend that I could have been. I mean I remember telling him that I thought it was brave of him to come out and confront everyone with this secret that he had been hiding for who knows how long. I even remember that he told me that it was me who really drove him to come out and reveal his secret. He said that out of all the people he knew I was the one who would make him feel like such a hypocrite. It never hit me that whenever we get into conversations about homosexuals, lesbians and so on that this was behind it. I was really nieveI would always make good points as to why those life styles wouldn’t make sense to me, mind you at the time I really didn’t know much about religion.

But at the same time, I was still young, 24 at the time, and felt that what I was beginning to learn the truth I’d been searching for. I had super zeal because I sincerely thought I was pleasing the LORD, but lacked experience in so many ways that in my zeal I would scripturally cut people down.

In the religion I was a part of we taught strongly against homosexuality and other perversions. But when it came to consoling or comforting people to help guide them out from under their sins, I was fruitless in that aspect. I realize now that my state of mind at the time, the fire and verocity of how I preached to others, must have ignited or enflamed even more the inner struggles my friend ways fighting.

During that time I distanced myself not only from him, but most of the people in my life, whether family or friend it didn’t matter. I’m still trying to rebuild relationships that were heavly affected by this dark period in my life. I truly was in a cult.

So finally, I believe all this couple together with the demons tugging at my friends soul, ultimately helped push him over the edge. I was so far gone into the religion that I didn’t know what had happened. When I came to find out, I had missed the wake, and the burial. I foreve regret that. It’s something that I know can never be rectified.

In the end, coming home to the Catholic Faith has given me hope that by praying to God, Christ, Our Lady, the Saints, Angels, etc, my friends soul will be shown mercy, be forgiven and enter into my Father’s house.

Thank you all for listening to me. God Bless You All, and Count your Blessing for they are many.

Nelson


#10

[quote=DaMaMaXiMuS]Thanks JkirkLVNV and everyone else for their input. It makes me feel good that my hopes for my friend may be realized. I’ll continue to keep him in my prayers.

I know my friend believed in God, but after that he pretty much didn’t have a formal structure of religious beliefs. He didn’t attend any particular faith, and I don’t know if he was born Catholic.

But ultimately, my friend was a person who cared for others he didn’t like people being taken advantage of. He was a people person, very intelligent, possessed many gifts. He wrote short stories, wrote songs, sang lead vocals in a band he started, was a have way decent artist. He had a great appreciation of music, movies, and books. Really, he was gifted. Wasn’t a sports nut, but was one of those naturally strong lugz. :slight_smile: He definately wasn’t graceful in any of the sports we’d play as kids, but in his uncanny way he got the job done.

But I know he was overcome by his demons. I realize know that as a kid he must have suffered terrible things in the form of abuse both sexual and physical.

About a year or so before he committed suicide, he had revealed to me and a few other close friends that he was bi-sexual. Or as we in the faith would rather say, he was leading a bi-sexual life. At the time I was just starting to find religion.

I had begun studying and learning a religion which looking back now had facets of protestant, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, and Jewish doctrines. I gladly admit today to people I was still able to salvage a relationship with, that I felt like I came out from under a spell. I thank God for bringing to the fullness of the truth.

Anyway, being that my friends revelation happened at the same time as my quasi spiritual awakening, I wasn’t the best friend that I could have been. I mean I remember telling him that I thought it was brave of him to come out and confront everyone with this secret that he had been hiding for who knows how long. I even remember that he told me that it was me who really drove him to come out and reveal his secret. He said that out of all the people he knew I was the one who would make him feel like such a hypocrite. It never hit me that whenever we get into conversations about homosexuals, lesbians and so on that this was behind it. I was really nieveI would always make good points as to why those life styles wouldn’t make sense to me, mind you at the time I really didn’t know much about religion.

But at the same time, I was still young, 24 at the time, and felt that what I was beginning to learn the truth I’d been searching for. I had super zeal because I sincerely thought I was pleasing the LORD, but lacked experience in so many ways that in my zeal I would scripturally cut people down.

In the religion I was a part of we taught strongly against homosexuality and other perversions. But when it came to consoling or comforting people to help guide them out from under their sins, I was fruitless in that aspect. I realize now that my state of mind at the time, the fire and verocity of how I preached to others, must have ignited or enflamed even more the inner struggles my friend ways fighting.

During that time I distanced myself not only from him, but most of the people in my life, whether family or friend it didn’t matter. I’m still trying to rebuild relationships that were heavly affected by this dark period in my life. I truly was in a cult.

So finally, I believe all this couple together with the demons tugging at my friends soul, ultimately helped push him over the edge. I was so far gone into the religion that I didn’t know what had happened. When I came to find out, I had missed the wake, and the burial. I foreve regret that. It’s something that I know can never be rectified.

In the end, coming home to the Catholic Faith has given me hope that by praying to God, Christ, Our Lady, the Saints, Angels, etc, my friends soul will be shown mercy, be forgiven and enter into my Father’s house.

Thank you all for listening to me. God Bless You All, and Count your Blessing for they are many.

Nelson
[/quote]

Have Masses said for him, Nelson! You cannot do better than that, the Church’s most perfect prayer, the “single, great unending cry” of Christ.


#11

[quote=JKirkLVNV]Have Masses said for him, Nelson! You cannot do better than that, the Church’s most perfect prayer, the “single, great unending cry” of Christ.
[/quote]

JKirk,

You beat me to saying this! DaMaMaXiMuS, the single best thing that you could do would be to ask your priest to say a mass for the repose of your friend’s soul. Do not despair that he is in Hell, as God is infinitely merciful, just, and all knowing.

Please allow me to explain…

God is infinitely merciful, meaning that He knows your friend’s mind and emotional state. If there was a chemical imbalance, God in His mercy will certainly consider this when judging your friend. God desires all men to be saved, and extends his mercy freely. Certainly, your friends sins are great; take heart, however, as God’s mercy is far greater. We cannot know if your friend is with God or not, but you should never give up on him.

…Which brings me to my second point…

God is all knowing. From the beginning of time, God has known the love you would have for your friend. God does not ignore the cries of love, for indeed He is Love! Love covers a multitude of sins, and in God’s wisdom is the hope for the sorrowful. Blessed are the sorrowful, for they will be consoled. The prayers of a righteous man availeth much, so you need to be that righteous man for your friend. God knows all, so will have taken into account your prayers when He judged your friend. He also knows the depths of your love and how you would join it to the infinite love of His Son in the Mass, so you need to be sure you give God what you can with all your heart.

Do not give up on your friend. Ever. If you desire his ultimate salvation, you need to be a prayer warrior for him. You need to become a centurian for God, and join with the army of Saints and Angels in fighting for his redemption.

Take heart in the word of God, and become a warrior as God has declared:

[quote=Eph 6] 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
[/quote]

May God bless you and your friend,
RyanL


#12

Essentially the teaching of the Catholic Church is that suicide is a sin, but since most of them are the result of mental illness, which is not the person’s fault, that sin is mitigated. In essence the concept is that we do not know what goes on in the soul of one so depressed, especially in those last moments of life, so we cannot be sure, but there is reason for great hope. That’s why this passage from 2nd Machabees 12:46 is so great. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Note also that Jesus did not condemn the sick, but had compassion on them.

Pax vobiscum,


#13

While what everyone has said above is true, remember that if he decided to take a step away from Truth that led him to commit suicide (though from the sound of it he may have had serious problems as a child) he is still guilty of it. (i.e his unstable state of mind is his own fault - much as a drug addict who commits suicide is not necessarily responsible because he isnt right up there, he still started the problem by taking drugs).

Unfortunately being leader of a band, bisexual etc arent exactly the holiest things to be doing. However, if problems arose when he was still under the age of reason perhaps God will have mercy on him. Do not despair. But be reasonable and ask yourself what you think would be your response if it wasnt your friend? If you honestly believe he may have been saved then pray pray pray for his deliverance from purgatory.

This is one of those issues we must just trust God with, although you may be sad that your friend is in hell, God is just, only He knew the state of mind of your friend.

In Christ.

Andre.


#14

As a Catholic woman who has suffered with this very question for years, I would like to offer an excerpt of an article written by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, which helped more than anything I’ve ever read or heard on the subject.

"What we didn’t understand, of course {when one who committed suicide was considered absolutely to be in Hell} was that the propensity for suicide, most times, is an illness, pure and simple. Suicide is a disease, and the most misunderstood of all sicknesses. We are made of body and soul. Either can snap. We can die of cancer, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, or from malignancies of the heart, emotional strokes, and mortal wounds to the soul. In most suicides, just as in any terminal disease, death is not freely chosen. It takes a person out of life against his or her will. Is this making light of suicide? Hardly.

Anyone who has ever dealt with either the victim of a suicide before his or her death or with those grieving that death afterwards knows that it is impossible to make light of it. There is no hell and there is no pain like the one suicide inflicts. Nobody who is healthy wants to die. Nobody who is healthy wants to burden his or her loved ones with this kind of pain. And that’s the point:. This is only done when someone isn’t healthy. The fact that medication can often prevent suicide should tell us something.

Suicide is an illness not a sin. Nobody just calmly decides to commit suicide and burden his or her loved ones with that death any more than anyone calmly decides to die of cancer and cause that kind of pain. The victim of suicide (in all but rare cases) is a trapped person, caught up in a fiery, private chaos that has its roots both in his or her emotions and in his or her biochemistry. Suicide is a desperate attempt to end unendurable pain, much like a man who throws himself through a window because his clothing has caught fire. That’s a tragedy; not a sin. A succumbing to disease; not despair. A real death; not intended."

I have a great devotion to the holy souls, particularly those touched by these circumstances. Your friend will remain in my prayers.


#15

Thank God only God can make the decision on the state of ones soul because we humans do make such a mess of things…

Suicide is a dreadful thing, it is something the Church expounds forcefully on…as an attempted suicide of many attempts let me say this…most folk in that position THINK they are doing the right thing so therefore the mind is disordered, the person often BELIEVES that they are utterly abandoned ( I personally feel this is what Hell has on offer).

I was desperately unhappy at not ending my life at the time, but now I am so much better, I thank the Lord for giving me the chance to repent for my disordered life.

The bottom line is even if you think someone has gone to hell you do not know it and should pray for them that God in His wisdom will see what you cannot possibly see.


#16

I am so glad to run across this thread. My father-in-law committed suicide three years ago this December. He had battled clinical depression at least twice before (with one bout being serious enough to require hospitalization). At the time of his death, he had just recovered (physically, at least) from heart surgery. We had just come back from the brink of non-stop worry when he slowly began to display the symptoms of depression he had shown before. Though we thought his symptoms were not yet serious enough for us to take action, he did take his own life.

At the time, my wife was pregnant w/ our first child. Being in medical school, she was assigned a week in a horrible hospital in a bad neighborhood in another town. Before the horrible news of her father’s death, I worried non-stop that she was going to be in an accident or even worse, a crime statistic given the “rough” area she was working in. In my mind, the only consolation I took from the whole event was that perhaps with my bringing her home from that hospital assignment, the event may have saved the life of my wife and unborn daughter. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but…

Everyone who knew my father-in-law could only say mental illness was to blame as he genuinely loved life. He had just come off a year as being king of the local Mardi Gras krewe and was loved by many. He had everything to live for and was kind and generous to all he came in contact with. Illness is the only reason I can give for his decision. I can’t accept that there is no hope for salvation for someone such as him.


#17

[quote=Melanie01]Thank God only God can make the decision on the state of ones soul because we humans do make such a mess of things…

Suicide is a dreadful thing, it is something the Church expounds forcefully on…as an attempted suicide of many attempts let me say this…most folk in that position THINK they are doing the right thing so therefore the mind is disordered, the person often BELIEVES that they are utterly abandoned ( I personally feel this is what Hell has on offer).

I was desperately unhappy at not ending my life at the time, but now I am so much better, I thank the Lord for giving me the chance to repent for my disordered life.

The bottom line is even if you think someone has gone to hell you do not know it and should pray for them that God in His wisdom will see what you cannot possibly see.
[/quote]

amen

:slight_smile:


closed #18

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